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Japanese Fabric Flowers


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About the Author

Sylvie Blondeau is a French artist specialising in craft, illustration and costume design for theatre. She is based in Val-de-Marne in France where she teaches sewing classes and tailoring.


I adore fabric flowers and I am always amazed by the very effective and beautiful results achieved by the manipulation of small pieces of fabric.

Kanzashi is the Japanese art of making these divine creations, and even though they look intricate and difficult to make they really are quite simple.

Use them to adorn your bags, hats and home decor, you can even make earrings and necklaces which could be given as gifts to your favourite friends.

Japanese Fabric Flowers is one of those books that is just a joy to look at. The beautiful designs are stunning and really amazing.

Each design has a pattern, including tools needed and extra advice on cutting your fabric and even using embellishments. Templates are included and with simple visual diagrams there is no reason for you not to create something wonderful.

This is a beautiful craft and well worth the effort as the final results are just stunning.

-- Tracy Shephard * Postcard Reviews *

Kanzashi flowers are a traditional Japanese craft originally used as a hair ornament. In this collection, French costume designer Blondeau presents the basics of kanzashi making, including designs ranging from simple to complex. Basic kanzashi flowers require simple supplies that most sewists will have on hand-fabric scraps (medium-weight fabrics such as cotton poplin or raw silk are ideal), fabric glue, and a hand sewing kit. As the flowers become more complex, kanzashi flower makers, which are plastic templates in five different shapes corresponding to a specific petal type, are used. Flowers can be finished with beads or buttons and incorporated into numerous projects, including jewelry or handbags, or used as an embellishment or an accessory. Step-by-step directions for sewing 16 different kanzashi are provided; 12 projects supply ideas for using the finished flowers as well as further variations. VERDICT Crafters with an interest in embellishment or in traditional Japanese crafts will enjoy this collection.

* Library Journal USA *

Wow 65 different flowers to decorate things with. Sylvie brings together her skills to show you how to make beautiful flowers that can be easily be made with regular fabric. Not only does Sylvie share her step by step instructions to make beautiful flowers you also get step-by-step instructions for making different projects to add your flowers to. Sylvie explains the history behind these beautiful flowers and talks you through creating and using templates. Some of the flowers use the clover kanzashi (the name of the beautiful flowers) flower makers. These templates make it easier for you to make matching flowers all the time. In the book clear instructions are given so that you can make the flowers very easily. Each of the 65 designs have their own look Some look like
specific types of flower and others are unique. Sylvie also takes you through using other materials to finish off your designs. You can use everything from buttons to chain. The book makes the flowers in multiple colours to create different designs. Plain fabric is used and then on others patterned fabric is used to create a completely different look. The flowers are fantastic to make with scraps of fabric and can be easily altered to match your decor or outfit. With so many flowers to make and so many projects to use them on this book offers so much. The book is full of amazing colours!

For the full review and images please visit:

* Crochet Addict UK *

Kanzashi flowers are those beautiful fabric flowers associated with traditional Japanese hairstyles, especially those of geishas. They are not hard to make, and can be used to adorn more than hair decorations; they are also a great way of using up oddments of fabric.

This book, translated from the French shows you how to make both the styles with just fabric, and those using the plastic Clover Flower Makers. There are sixteen different flowers to choose from, plus the more Western yoyo (aka Suffolk puff), rosette and padded "pumpkin" shape reminiscent of pincushions. Each flower has a series of captioned diagrams that are well laid out on the page but would be even better if they were all in a dark line color rather than red, pink or orange. There is a handy gallery of all the finished types, and then it is on with the projects. All these are illustrated with large photographs, often giving more than one view of the finished piece and separate parts. The print is quite small, and instructions don't always feature staged diagrams so some sewing experience is essential for the more challenging projects. You won't find any Japanese style hair decorations in here and the hanging "falls" are omitted, but instead there are many ingenious ways of using the flowers to decorate all kinds of other things. These are beautiful and unusual - waterlily table decorations, lots of jewelry, Christmas decorations, Peter Pan collar with flower and a crafter's bag to name some. If you have always wanted to make your own kanzashi this is the place to discover how, and also how they fit into modern Western life.

* Rachel Hyde - *

Great value book with full colour photos and instructions to make 65 fabulous flowers. Some you can make with card, for others it recommends a template maker. Love the ideas and end results in this book. Use your fabric stash and scraps, you need 3 inch diameter circles. You learn the basics first - rounded petals, pointed petals and so on and then specific flowers. I love them all. Easy to make flowers that match your handmade outfits.

* Karen Platt- *

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